I often get asked by frustrated authors “How do I build my Author platform and my email list?” This is no mean feat and such a hugely overlooked part of marketing books. Too many authors simplistically think by throwing up a webpage and adding a link to their social media profiles it’s enough to sell their books.
The reality of the situation is very different. It’s estimated a potential reader must come into contact with you on 7 different occasions before they are in a state where they will consider buying.
So how do you get these readers into a warm buying state? You invite them to join your email list, get them to know you, like you and trust you. From there you have a fan who will buy your books and hopefully become an advocate of you.
But, how do you get readers onto your list in the first place?
Enter Story origin…
What is Story Origin?
Story Origin is the creation of founder Evan Gow, a marketing platform and a community of authors. It enables authors to grow their list, increase their sales and also find reviewers for their books.
I came across Story Origin a couple of years ago when I realised the potential of building an email list. I was immediately impressed with the amount of features, which opened my eyes to all the different ways to find new voracious readers.
The key features
Review and Beta copies
If you want to find reviewers for your books and distribute beta copies safely without fear of piracy then Story Origin has it covered. You can even track how much the people you have given access to have read.
With the beta copies, you can brilliantly embed questionnaires in between chapters. This is an incredible way to get feed back and compare across all your beta readers.
Story Origin also helps you vet reviews that request audio codes from you too so you can be sure that they’re getting into the hands of people that will listen to and review your audio books. With audio books out-selling Ebooks in 2021, the platform is helping to future proof your business.
Newsletter and Promo Swaps
This is my favourite part of Story Origin and where I gained the most success. By uploading a reader magnet to the platform, (a short story or I used a kids activity pack) you can then get involved with other authors and help each other to grow your email list.
Just search for authors who write in a similar genre and agree to mention each other in future newsletters. This is a fantastic way to build up your list as you’re targeting readers who are interested in your genre. Win, Win!
Alternatively, you can join a group promotion. Here you team up with multiple authors to promote your books on a single landing page. Because you all promote the same link you are amplifying the traffic that you’re all sending to the page. More traffic = more sales!
Universal retail links
This is such a handy thing to have. Your readers click the link on the link created by Story Origin and it transports them to their local Amazon store. Less clicks mean more chance of a sale.
Story Origin Word Count tracker
If you need something to keep your writing on track then this is for you. Set a target and it’ll break it down into words per day. If you miss a day don’t panic, Story Origin will adjust the word count targets accordingly.
Story Origin Case Study
If you’re still unsure about Story Origin then I’ll use myself as a case study. I managed to get myself a huge twenty something subscribers before I joined up to the platform. After 6 months, Story origin had assisted me in getting this number close to 2000.
I did this primarily through newsletter swaps, I made sure I was sending out one or two newsletters a month and mentioned 2 or 3 authors each time. They mentioned me and before I knew it my email list began to grow.
The bigger my list grew, the more authors wanted to swap with me and so on.
I perfected my email opening sequence and I found that 25% + of new subscribers went on to click the link to my book in my final automated email.
Although I can’t say definitively how many of these readers purchased my books, I can say there was a major upturn in my sales which I will attribute to this.
And lets face it, even if they didn’t buy, many of these readers will be on my list for years to come and are only an email away from buying subsequent releases of mine.